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Babette's Feast...A Quiet Gem

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by SteveK, Nov 15, 2001.

  1. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Last night, I watched "Babette's Feast", which I had recorded from Sundance Channel. The movie is Danish, with English subtitles. It tells the story of a minister's two daughters, as well as other deeply religious parishioners. I'm not a movie reviewer, so it's difficult to describe the beauty of this film. The dinner scene for the feast that Babette prepares is an interesting study of the pious churchgoers accustomed to denying themselves any pleasure confronted with the gourmet delicacies prepared by Babette. In some ways, this movie is as sensuous as the more recent "Chocolat", and has some of the same themes.
    If you enjoy quiet movies with good dialogue and good music instead of special effects extravaganzas, give Babette's Feast a try.
    As indicated above, I recorded the movie from Sundance Channel, so I don't know whether or not it's available on DVD. But it's certainly worth looking for.
    Enjoy your feast!
    Steve K.
     
  2. Pascal A

    Pascal A Second Unit

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    Steve, you will be pleased to know that the film is available on DVD (one of the MGM World Cinema releases).
    Another treat in the film is seeing two of Carl Theodor Dreyer's actors, Lisbeth Movin and Preben Lerdorff Rye, years later as the older couple who had a romantic dalliance in their youth, a subtle inference to their characters Anne (Movin) and Martin (Rye) in Dreyer's Day of Wrath. Rye also played Johannes in Dreyer's Ordet.
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    Strictly Film School
     
  3. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    How's the DVD?
    Knowing MGM's great respect for classic films, especially foreign ones (yeah, that's sarcasm), I was not optimistic.
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    "Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon
    [Edited last by Rain on November 15, 2001 at 12:50 PM]
     
  4. Dave L

    Dave L Stunt Coordinator

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    Wonderful film! Of course, I love to eat and watching the lengthy, deliberate, preparation of the meal that climaxes the film (and nearly climaxes viewers like me as well) is fascinating and engrossing. The contrast of the richness of the ingredients, the wines, the fowl, etc. set against the bleak spartan town echoes the contrasts of the Puritan Danish community against the pleasure loving French.
    I remember when the film came out and at least one restaurant in New York actually prepared and served something akin to the film's meal. Unfortunately, it was priced somewhat above my meager means at the time.
     
  5. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    I'm glad to see that others have enjoyed this film as much as I did. Dave, I certainly agree that the contrast between the gourmet feast served by Babette and the drab, dull townsfolk is one of the highlights of the movie. I think that such a meal served at a French restaurant would STILL be beyond my means! [​IMG]
    Steve K.
     
  6. Russ Lucas

    Russ Lucas Stunt Coordinator

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    It is a fantastic film! Glad to hear there are other fans of it out there.
    Rain, the DVD's average. It's not anamorphically enhanced, but it is OAR. Others may disagree, but on my 32" 4:3 TV I thought the picture looked fine. Seeing as my only past exposure to it had been VHS, it looks much better than that. I didn't note any glaring transfer errors or print damage. Apart from a trailer, there are no extras. I think I got my copy at Border's for $14.99.
     
  7. Russ Lucas

    Russ Lucas Stunt Coordinator

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    By the way, while I've not yet read the Dinesen short story upon which Babette's Feast was based, there's an excellent essay about this film and the story in a recently-published book entitled "Writers at the Movies." The book's draw is that published authors write about movies they've enjoyed; there's a great essay by Salman Rushdie on The Wizard of Oz in it. The author who wrote about Babette's Feast was not one I had heard of, but his essay really helped me to appreciate its depth and subtlety.
     

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